Thales Alenia Space España has won a €3.8 M contract from the Directorate of Technical and Quality Management of the European Space Agency (ESA) for the development and qualification of an avionics kit to provide Launcher Telemetry Acquisition via Satellite (LTAS). This kit will be used on future missions by Ariane 5, Vega and other European launchers, and is capable of communicating via relay satellites such as the American TDRSS constellation and/or the European Artemis satellite.

As prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space España will be responsible for the design and production of an engineering model, followed by a ground compatibility test using the Artemis satellite. An in-orbit demonstration test currently planned on the second Vega flight, VERTA-1, will follow, with deliveries scheduled for 2010.

The LTAS kit is designed to be installed on a launcher to handle the mission’s telemetry transmissions via satellite. The kit will encode the telemetry data from the launcher’s avionics, then amplify and transmit this data via the antennas.